The mysterious Ed Gemmell bears all during a pub crawl with Esther. The two will be roommates next year so Esther decided she should know a bit more about Ed. She’s designed a night of drunken antics that mirror that of The World’s End, however there will probably be fewer aliens in this one. During the evening, the two share stories of their youth that helped shape them into the people they are today.
It’s interesting to see how Ed and Esther’s paths as kids weave onto similar tracks. Ed was frequently bullied, while Esther did some bullying in her day, albeit mostly towards a teacher. They were both outcasts who found themselves by participating in the drama club, and they both lost loves when their significant others went off to college.
The memories are not shown in an entirely realistic fashion, which is part of the charm of Giant Days. Artist Max Sarin continues to excel in this regard. For example, when Esther is describing how she and her friends hated everyone in school, they gave everyone the “skull eye” which appears as a huge cloud of dark skulls looming over them. It looks like a demonic wave of spirits flowing behind these moody teenagers. The added touch is that the pupils of each person in the panel are also little skulls.
The comic itself feels the effects of all the drinks Ed and Esther have. As the issue continues, the panels go from a normal, right-angled structure to a wavy layout where there are no straight lines. Tables look like sine curves. This escalates to the point where the pages look like something out of a fever dream. Everything straightens out again once Ed reveals a bit too much. This slip seems to sober him up enough to right the world around him. This kind of art direction raises Giant Days to some next level storytelling.
There has to be a part of Ed that’s tortured by all this. He had a huge crush on Esther that he had only just gotten over. Now he’s spending so much time with her and he’ll be living with her next year. Seeing them together makes me think they could be a good couple. They complement each other well. Ed could ground Esther while she could break him out of his shell.
The humor in Giant Days is consistent and always worthy of some laugh-out-loud moments. This issue is no different. Esther is responsible for most of this, both in her dialogue and her appearance. She has a way of delivering lines that always cracks me up. There’s an added dramatic flare to almost everything she says.
Giant Days is so consistently well done that it’s almost tough to review it every month. There is something for everyone in this comic, but more importantly, this is a comic that is easily accessible to every demographic. If great sitcoms like Friends or Seinfeld were turned into comics, they’d be similar in tone to Giant Days.